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Carolyn Hax: How can I raise a child who doesn’t bully and isn’t bullied?
Article by: Washington Post
July 08, 2014
Views: 4,467,144

Dear Carolyn:

With all the bullying in the news these days, I’m wondering (as the mom of a 15-month-old) if you have any advice for raising children who don’t bully and don’t allow others to bully them.

Wondering

Sure, I’ll dash that off in 500 words.

It’s a great and sweeping and relevant question, so I’ll try to assemble a couple of coherent thoughts.

1. Even if we figure out the exact answer, your child will be on the giving and receiving end of meanness. There’s no avoiding it altogether. “Best Friends, Worst Enemies,” by Thompson/O’Neill-Grace/Cohen, which I recommend often, is very clear and reassuring on this. Kids have to learn how to get along just as they have to learn to walk, and the process isn’t pretty sometimes.

2. How are you at tightrope-walking? To raise kids who don’t bully, you need to supervise carefully and correct as needed, like when they say mean things to people’s faces or behind their backs: “Hey — how would you feel if someone said that to/about you?” To raise kids who don’t allow others to bully them, you need to teach your kids to assert themselves instead of your doing it for them all the time. It’s a constant balancing and re-balancing act as they grow, but it hinges on learning to step in only when their defenses aren’t strong enough to protect them (with abusive relatives, for example). Bonus, you don’t know whether you’ve gotten it right till it’s almost too late to do anything about it. And, different kids/temperaments/personalities need different balances.

Click here to read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/carolyn-hax-how-can-i-raise-a-child-who-doesnt-bully-and-isnt-bullied/2014/07/07/e6c1206a-fbbe-11e3-8176-f2c941cf35f1_story.html



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